Text too small

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by akm3, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    My wife just bought an 11.6" Air to replace her Rev. A.

    She doesn't have the best eyes and is now complaining that the text is too small. I realize it's higher dpi and this would be expected. Sometimes you can pinch to zoom the text, but is there some global setting that she could change to increase the text size more globally ?

    If not well likely return this one and get a 13 incher. Thanks!
  2. ImperialX macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2007
    Tokyo, Japan
    There is Accessibility in System Prefs, but I don't think that's what you want.

    Just get the 13.3"
  3. Aranince macrumors 65816

    Apr 18, 2007
    If you are reading text in a browser (I don't know if this will work in Mail) if you press cmd-+ it will increase the size of the page. You can also hold control while scrolling to zoom the whole screen.
  4. Ann P macrumors 68020

    Jun 29, 2009
    I noticed eyestrain using the 11" at the Apple store yesterday. I'm glad I'm not the only one!
  5. HelloMikee macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2009
    San Diego
    You can also zoom text only in safari so images don't degrade.

    Mail text also zooms with a pinch
  6. fuzzielitlpanda macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2008
    i would think that the higher resolution on the 13" would also make the text appear smaller
  7. falconeight Guest


    Apr 6, 2010
    You can change the size of the text in settings
  8. drjsway macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2009
    Don't change it for a week. I'm certain you'll get used to it. If you came from a lower PPI display, it will seem too small at first, but once you adjust to it, you'll never go back.

    If, after a week, you still think it's too small, then change it. I can read the text clearly from 4-5 feet away and my eyesight is average.
  9. falconeight Guest


    Apr 6, 2010
    that is true
  10. slazareth macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2006
    You can try changing the resolution in System Prefs > Displays
  11. John566 macrumors member


    Mar 6, 2008
    I'm pretty sure the pixel density on the 13" is even higher and would compound your problem. As I've gotten older I've found reading glasses make a big difference with these newer screens with more pixels per inch. Might be worth a try.
  12. epictempo macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2008
    Change in Browser

    Had the same problem, this has solved the issue for me.

    Go to Preferences, then Advanced settings in Safari and choose min. font to be at least 14.
  13. drjsway macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2009
    pixel density on the 13" is lower. The 11.6" has the highest pixel density of any product Apple has shipped (aside from iPhones and iPods).
  14. lamadude macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2006
    Brussels, BE
    I often have the same problem with small high resolution displays. Even after years of talking about "resolution independance" I find that there is still no system-wide sollution for this problem. There is of course always the screen zoom functionality of OSX, but nobody wants to use that unless in very exeptional cases.

    Therefor my sollution is based on the programs I use.

    • In MS Office and most other office suits you can very easily adjust the zoom level of the page with a slider
    • In iTunes there is a setting to show the list in a (slightly) larger font
    • Browsers: In Firefox I use the NoSquint extension, which allows you to set a default zoom level for all sites (say: 120%) and then remembers for every website you visit weather you used Cmd-plus or minus to adjust the zoom level, so after a while you have the perfect zoom levels for every site.
      In most browsers you can also cmd-plus to get bigger text, or change the default font from let's say 12 to 14 points for example

    I currently have a 1440x900 resolution in my 15 inch early 2008 macbook pro, and I don't think I want to go to a higher DPI screen unless apple really starts making work of resolution independence. I think it's handled beautifully on the iOS devices btw, the retina display works because it's very easy to pinch, zoom and basically see everything the way you want to.
  15. joelypolly macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2003
    Melbourne & Shanghai
    You can try Ctrl + two finger scroll it will zoom the area where the cursor is located. However it can be somewhat blurry.
  16. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The smaller screen almost necessitates a visit to apple to see if the resolution is satisfactory. As great as the smaller MBA is, and clearly the 11" model is a better option then the 13" (as that will be more expensive in the end then a 13 MBP), you better verify that you can easily read the screen.

    If you're wife is having difficulties reading it, maybe you want to consider exchanging it. While there some work arounds, those may impact user experience and in the end just frustrate your wife
  17. tiselday macrumors member

    May 25, 2003

    You can simply compute the pixels per inch (aka density) by:

    dpi = vertical points * sqrt(1 + factor^2) / diagonal

    where factor is 16/9 for the 11.6" Macbook air and 16/10 for the 13.3".


    dpi_11.6" = 768 * sqrt(1 + (16/9)^2)/ 11.6" = 135 dpi
    dpi_13.3" = 900 * sqrt(1 + (16/10)^2)/ 13.3" = 127 dpi

    Conclusion: things in the 11.6 will appear smaller.

    For comparisons:

    15.4" (1440x900) Macbook pro
    dpi_15.4" = 900 * sqrt(1 + (16/10)^2)/ 15.4" = 110 dpi

    Dell 2405 (1920x1200, 24")
    dpi_24" = 1200 * sqrt(1 + (16/10)^2)/ 24" = 94 dpi
  18. PhoneI macrumors 68000

    Mar 7, 2008
    I know it's odd, but the Blackberry is still the only device that I can think of (computer or handheld) that allows such an impressive level of font custimization.
  19. sparkie7 macrumors 68010


    Oct 17, 2008
    you want to quantify?
  20. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    13" MBP with 4GB of ram $1,199
    13" 2.13GHz MBA with 4GB, 256GB flash $1,800 dollars.

    With the MBP, you can install 8GB of ram, upgrade the HD to a SSD, you have a FW port, faster CPU, optical drive.

    With the MBA you can only have 4GB or ram and then you can only choose this at time of purchase. You can opt for the base model of the 13" MBA with 4GB of ram for $1,399 but you have a slower cpu and a much smaller SSD, even with this configuration its more expensive then the MBP

    I think this quantifies the fact that, you get less computer for a lot more money with the 13" MBA.

    Edit: There's other features the MBP has that the MBA doesn't, such as a backlit keyboard, but I beleive I made my point
  21. plathunter macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2010
    Dont know if I agree with you. Your example above has two very different speced computers for example you chose the low end mbp to the high end mba.

    I think a closer comparison would be:

    13" MBP 2.4 GHZ with 4MB Ram, 256 SSD $1,999
    13" MBA 2.13 GHZ with 4MB Ram, 256 Flash $1,799

    Sure the MBP has a faster processor but it its $200.00 more. You lose some the features you notice above but you also get benefits that are more appealing for some such as the lightweight and profile.
    Since I value a more portable system I think the MBA is a better value than the MBP at a cheaper price
  22. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I was trying to find a good balance, not skew the statistics to my favor. I opted for the low end MBP mostly because that generally is a better deal then the high end 13" MBP. I also opted for the high end MBA because of the larger SSD, but I see your point.

    I also tried to keep the configuration at stock. I don't too many people who would be willing to pay for an SSD from apple, when faster/cheaper ones abound.

    So basically, if I walked into an apple store and asked for a model how much money out of pocket would that be. In most cases the MBP is cheaper and gives you more expandability.
  23. mttcee macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2010
    biggest failure of OSX => GUI isn't resolution independent

    bought half a yr ago MBP i7 with hires display (similiar dpi as new MBAs) brought it back. even if you can resize browser content and some elements here and there, it sucks. you get eyestrain pretty fast.

    i hate windows but regarding resolution independency it's far beyond OSX => just check an Vaio Z13 with full hd display and how well os elements and third party apps scale entirely

    IMHO also the reason not to buy an MBA


    mbp i7 normal rez
  24. drjsway macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2009
    Yes, so the pixel density of the 11.6" is higher. Why was that directed at me? That's exactly what I said.

Share This Page